Russia plans to introduce fingerprinting procedures for foreign citizens who apply for visas, but this may reduce the tourist flow to the country from abroad, Oleg Safonov, the head of Rosturizm, said.
"EU countries have introduced compulsory fingerprinting for Russian tourists in the issuance of visas, and there are plans to introduce a similar system in response to this clearly unfriendly step, but we believe it will immediately lead to a decrease in incoming tourism," Safonov told a State Council presidium on Aug. 17.
He said that foreigners who travel in Russia, as a rule, are seniors. "These people are not young and it will be much harder for them to get a Russian visa due to the low number of Russian visa centers abroad," he said.
At the same time, Safonov said tourism, if developed correctly, would become an element of "soft force" to draw foreign guests. "In the situation of sanctions, tourism could become the soft force drawing foreign guests and helping spread Russian influence in the world," he said.
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